Brookfield Renewable Energy Group (Brookfield Renewable) representatives were invited to Sault Area Hospital (SAH) to see the capabilities and affect telemedicine (two-way video conferencing systems and tele-diagnostic instruments) currently has on patient care here in our community. Brookfield Renewable has generously made a gift to support the purchase of additional telemedicine systems to increase the access patients have to these programs. The telemedicine program is currently used to minimize travel, establish greater access to specialists, make patient care more efficient, and to enhance comfort for the patient and their family. Jim Deluzio, Karen Spry and Shannon Mitchell from Brookfield Renewable presented the Sault Area Hospital Foundation (SAHF) staff and board members along with SAH staff and senior management, with a contribution of $50,000 over two years to help purchase additional telemedicine units for SAH. During their visit they received a presentation about these systems’ abilities, capabilities and local accomplishments.
The use of telemedicine has created a secure and efficient method for patient care across any distance. These systems allow patients of SAH to communicate with healthcare professionals at other sites. They also allow healthcare professionals here, to communicate with patients at other sites across the Algoma District, including to patients at long term facilities within our city. The amount of travel reduced from SAH using telemedicine is well over 2 million kilometers and counting. This process also allows the patient, out of town or in a long term facility within the city, to remain more comfortable without sacrificing their care during minor appointments. Forty-nine percent of all telemedicine in Ontario occurs in Northern Ontario and over $60 million in Northern Travel Grants have been avoided by using these systems at SAH. The tools available to healthcare professionals during these appointments range from digital cameras and screens, to Bluetooth stethoscopes and vitals monitoring.
“After hearing the tremendous effect telemedicine has on the patients of Algoma, we knew we wanted to support the purchase of additional systems for Sault Area Hospital. Being able to reduce the amount of travel patients in our community have to endure for treatment is something Brookfield Renewable is proud to be a part of.” Jim Deluzio, VP, Operations, Brookfield Renewable.
“This generous donation will help purchase new telemedicine units to increase patient access to care here in Sault Ste. Marie. It will help reduce travel of patients here at our Hospital and also allow our healthcare professionals to reach patients throughout our catchment area. Telemedicine is also used for education among our patients and healthcare professionals and having more systems throughout our facility available for various programs will increase these opportunities too.” Kathleen Weir, Patient Care Supervisor of Telemedicine/Algoma District Cancer Program. To see the list of essential capital equipment SAHF has been fundraising for in 2014-2015, visit the SAHF website (http://www.sahfoundation.com/ways-to-give/equipment-wish-list)
The Sault Area Hospital Foundation Board of Directors and staff, on behalf of the physicians, staff and patients of our community’s hospital, would like to thank Brookfield Renewable and their staff for their generosity. It is great community support and commitment to healthcare, like this, that provides the patients of Algoma with the outstanding healthcare they deserve.
Pictured above (left to right): Jim Deluzio – VP, Operations, Brookfield Renewable, Karen Spry – Executive Assistant, Brookfield Renewable, Shannon Mitchell – Admin Assistant, Brookfield Renewable, Melanie Ingram – Patient Care Telemedicine Coordinator, SAH, Rob Battisti – SAHF Board of Directors, Elaine Pitcher – SAHF Board of Directors, and Kathleen Weir – Patient Care Supervisor, SAH.